How do the paths of various European Green Parties compare?

The following is an excerpt of an interesting, and brief, editorial from a Finnish news site about how the political choices of their own country’s Green Party compares to those of Green Parties in neighboring nations:

The core of the Green movement is concern over the environment. However, environmental questions are no longer the sole property of the Greens. On the contrary, nearly every party says that it is already green.
Over the years the Greens have become more active in other issues as well. They talk about short-term work contracts and guaranteed income, and the social security of researchers and other people living on grant money. The Greens have profiled themselves as a party defending tolerance, free movement, and openness.
But as the Greens have increasingly become a party among other parties, they have also lost some of their power and their special character. In the latest issue of the party’s weekly newspaper Vihreä Lanka veteran Green figure, Helsinki City Council member Tuomas Rantanen drew a line splitting the party into technocrats and idealists.

14 thoughts on “How do the paths of various European Green Parties compare?

  1. Michael Cavlan RN

    I have found the this site IPR to be just about the most open, non censoring site I have ever come across.

    Paulie strikes me as one who gets the whole Free Market of Ideas thing pretty freaking well.

    So the only thing that might be “censored” would be annoying, repetitive posting of an off topic post.

    If you had a comment about this thread and the Green party worldwide, I feel sure that it will be OK.

    If it is some spam about some fantasy political football team that you have cooked up and that you and only you were interested in, well there is a place for that.

    In the Open Thread area.

    As an aside, I have lots of thoughts about the paths of various European green parties.

    However, I have hashed over them many times and see no point in wasting time on that conversation again.

    I am far too busy actually organizing.

    Against the pro-war, corporate corrupted two party system. Like we really mean it.

    Carry on.

  2. Carey Campbell

    Thanks for the Green Party post.

    There are a library of books on this complex and diverse Green Party subject.

    An interesting debate for theorists.

    Practical side is this. The Green Party is more popular and more successful than ever.

  3. Eddie

    I have a feeling the person talking about the free speech is the american independent parliament poster. Yeah, we can censor you. Just look at some supreme court cases.

  4. pete healey

    @Carey and all- Let’s all remember the differences in political systems between us and them. Proportional systems have brought the greatest advances by far for Green Parties. “British” systems like ours are advancing at a snail’s pace, pretty much because of that difference I’d say.

  5. Deran

    It’s interesting that the writer os the essay explictly refers to the Green Parties as being the parties of the Middle Class. I think the real divergence among the Green Parties is really middle class/seat-at-the-table capitalist progresivists v the ecosocialist/GreenReds. I think Rudolf Bahro was best in exploring the relation between environemntalism and class struggle. Capitalism = Ecological disaster.

    I think the middle class reformist model has failed because they have attempted to be apart of governments that instituted neo-liberal classical economic policies, especially corproate globalism and deregulation of financial services that have all led to our recent economic depression.

    I guess what I am trying to say is the divergence is not just the technocrats who want to be in government v the idealistic middle class hippie, but a division over how economics are viewed. More and more I think all strains of “Progressivism” (ie Capitalism with a Human face) have failed to stop the growing wealth and power of the elites and the corporations.

  6. Carey Campbell

    Pete, and Deran,

    Thanks to you both.

    The Green Party tells the truth. As Petra Kelly, a prophet, put it, “Truth to Power”.

    Now after 31 plus years Europeans, and especially Germans see this. They have lived it.

    There, Germany especially, the Green Party does not suffer from the media blackout to the extent we see in the U.S.A. and elsewhere.

    It is a big help that Green Party energy policy has created, according to a Renate Kuenast interview this week , over 360,000 jobs in Germany alone in renewable energy.

    Green Party Governor in BW, Winfred Krestchman, aka “Kretsch” as Greens call him, is something special. The new Green Party Governor in BW (Baden Wuerttemberg) is a wonderful, kind fellow. Perfect for his state, as election results prove.

    Rudolph Baro! I knew that dude. Funny guy. Loved jokes. Complicated. Deep dude.

    Read his work in German, “back in the day” as the kids say today. Quite a writer!


    I think you need to have been in Europe recently to really get a good understanding of the move toward the Greens.

    That’s the key. It has been that society and business have moved to the Greens. Leading Green Party people make the point again and again.

    If the European Green Party interests you, please check out our posts at Independent Green Party News this week. A lot is shakin’.

    In Freiburg, Germany – where I studied – and where our family visited the Green Party convention in November 2010 – there are two new plays about the Green Party on stage.

    If we were not in prime petition gathering, and campaign season in Virginia, where we are recruiting candidates, gathering signatures, and getting ’em on the ballot, our family would grab a plane, and go to those theater plays at the University City that has a Green Party Mayor, majority Green Party city council, and I studied over 31 years ago.

    Petra Kelly – A Life for the Greens – the first play on stage is getting excellent reviews.

    The Green Party – A Success Story – is the second play in Freiburg. As you would expect full of drama, passion, intellectual content.

    We’ve reported, posted on what is playing out in the French Green Party. A French TV Star appears to have the edge in the Green Party nomination for Presidential candidate.

    My old Green Party beer drinking buddy from my Frankfurt youth, Dany Cohn-Bendit as always appears to be having a major impact.

    In Austria the Greens are up in the polls. In Switzerland, especially Basel (what a beautiful city, and Zurich the Green Party is growing ever stronger.

    In the recent Portugal elections the Green Party did well also.

    The bottom line is this. We need moral, ethical, honorable citizens on the ballot and in the political process as Green Party candidates.

    When that happens, there is a positive, constructive result.

    Thank you for your attention.

  7. pete healey

    What you say is probably right (about the “middle class Greens” and the “Red or Watermelon Greens”) but the alternate road isn’t well mapped out. We’ve already had enough of the “dictatorship of the proletariat” and the “dead fish of a socialism” that East European workers have cast aside for themselves.
    Capitalism still has some life in it and the “reformist road” is what has gotten us to this point. How will the “Red Greens” chart a way forward from here?
    I’m not seeing it just yet.

  8. Michael Cavlan RN


    You are pretty much correct in your class analysis of the Green Party. There is more but that is a good starting off point.

    In regards to how this plays out, you need look no further than the differences between the Green Party in Ireland and the German Green Party.
    The German GP stood by their principles even when things were bad. They are doing very well now.

    The Irish GP sold out their principles at every level when they were junior partners with the Fianna Fail coalition.

    They got DECIMATED in the last election.

    Guess which path I think the US Green Party has taken? The now virtually dead and moribund US GP which has released no financial statement statement since 2009. Then apparently IMHO even went so far as to sabotage the Cynthia McKinney campaign.

    Because small local campaign ONLY folks would rather attack those of us who believed in working at the National level as well as local races.

    Which helped no-one but the Democrats.

  9. Michael Cavlan RN



    Nope. I am committed to exposing the US greens just as much as I am committed to exposing the Democratic and Republican parties.

    So get over it. Or just get used to it.

  10. Deran

    Dead fish? I believe that rotten smell you are overwhelmed by is the corpse of zombie capitalism, careening around these last few years.

    My persoonal opinion is the national US Green Party has gone the way of the Irish party, with out ever having held state power.

    As the middle classes are immiserated, their interests will either swing toward neo-fascism, ie anti immigrantism and the “Tea Party” because the labor unions have been destroyed, and at this point the US Left is barely more than an amorphous mood and feeling. Not really going to be much good drawing people away from barbarism.

  11. Ross

    I really think the Green Party of Philadelphia could be showing the way for successful Green Parties in the US based on populist (ie, putting poor and working people at the forefront, rather than being merely reformist like these European Greens, who also, significantly, exist in countries with a stronger left wing, which the US Greens now represent in electoral politics by themselves) ideas. It’s unfortunately true that the environment has taken a bit of a back seat in our campaigns, but it is certainly not being ignored and an interesting coalition of people are working together – union folks, Green Party loyalists, environmentalists, poor people, even some middle class reformers, and others.

    But Michael, in Germany the “realos” won out over the “fundies,” if I’m getting those terms right. That is, the moderate pragmatists really took over the party and led it to success, rather than the radicals. I’m not arguing for one path or another for the US Greens here, I’m just pointing that out.

    And Deran, well said.

  12. VAGreen


    The national Green Party in the US opposed the bank bailouts from the start, unlike the Green Party of Ireland.

  13. VAGreen

    Michael Cavlan:

    “Nope. I am committed to exposing the US greens just as much as I am committed to exposing the Democratic and Republican parties.”

    Nope. You’re just trying to tear us down because you can’t build anything yourself.

    “Because small local campaign ONLY folks would rather attack those of us who believed in working at the National level as well as local races.”

    Blah, blah, blah. I can’t think of a Green that I know who was against Howie Hawkins or Jill Stein running for Governor or LeAlan Jones for Senate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *